But it surely will affect the way manager Tony La Russa had his ace of several years programmed for the rest of the season. Carpenter gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings but threw easily and hard until he suffered the injury.
Carpenter, who has made three starts since being activated from the disabled list, was in line to make as many as nine more starts the rest of the way. His scheduled outing at Cincinnati next Friday seems in jeopardy.
Again, the Cardinals dropped seven games behind the National League Central Division-leading Cubs, but, more significantly, they are three games behind in the wild-card race to the Milwaukee Brewers, against whom the Cardinals have only two games remaining in the last 42.
CUBS 6, CARDINALS 2: A team which led the majors in fielding percentage committed two costly errors Sunday night, leading to five runs. The most damaging error was a boot by 2B Adam Kennedy on a potential double-play ball which would have ended the sixth inning with the Cubs leading, 2-0. As it was, the Cubs got five runs in the inning.
NOTES AND QUOTES:
--CF Rick Ankiel missed his 14th consecutive start with a lower abdominal strain. He might play Monday night at Florida.
--2B Adam Kennedy not only committed a bad error in the sixth inning but he also struck out with the tying run at third and one out in the fourth. After his error, Kennedy came out of the game in a double switch made by manager Tony La Russa.
--RHP Adam Wainwright, recovering from a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand, will make his second rehabilitation appearance Monday at Class AAA Memphis.
--Rookie LF Joe Mather again played well in the field and doubled home a run and scored on 1B Albert Pujols' double in a two-run seventh inning.
--The Cardinals have six more games remaining with the Cubs, all in September, with each team having three at home.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- Number of 20-homer seasons by 3B Troy Glaus.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've always believed in myself. If I had ever stopped believing in myself, I wouldn't be here right now." -- OF Ryan Ludwick, one of the surprise stars in the National League this season.